Cannabis breathalyzers have been discussed for years. Could Oklahoma be the first state to use them? Oklahoma is currently working on the implementation of cannabis breathalyzers. This would be a huge step forward, as it would be the first time states could fairly test whether or not drivers are under the influence.
According to the Associated Press, the test would be groundbreaking in that it would be able to determine whether folks had used cannabis in the past few hours.
As of now, law enforcement can only test for cannabis by testing blood, urine, or hair. The problem with that system is, cannabis will show up even if the driver smoked days prior, so there’s no clear way to tell who is actually driving stoned and who isn’t. Also, any breathalyzer introduced needs to be able to detect THC so that people aren’t testing positive for CBD use.
Could the Breathalyzers become a reality?
Last week, Oklahoma passed a bill that would allocate $300,000 to this project. If this is rolled out, the Department of Public Safety will come up with new rules and regulations for the pilot program. While it is still in the pilot program stage, results of the THC breathalyzer test won’t hold up in a court of law.
“It’s kind of a trial program to make sure the system works,” said Rep. Ross Ford, R-Broken Arrow, to The Oklahoman. The idea would be for the state to collect data for the program and report the findings back to the legislature so that a permanent decision could be made.
Still, there are some things that could stand in the way of this moving forward, at least right away. Someone from the Department of Public Safety reports that it could take up to a year for the pilot program to get off the ground. And the bill still has to be approved by Governor Kevin Stitt before it can move forward.
While this isn’t a finalized solution to preventing people from driving stoned, it is a major step toward being able to fairly enforce driving laws in a way that doesn’t penalize people who have been sober for days.
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